Google Extends Thread to Rope in More Manufacturers

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By Kalyan Kumar | July 18, 2014 4:32 PM EST

Google's Nest Labs has launched an industry group to smart home gadget makers to comply with Thread--a new standard for devices to communicate on a network, reported Reuters.  Google Nest Labs is a thermostat maker acquired by Google to lead initiatives in household devices under the Internet of Things.

REUTERS/Stephen Lam
A Google logo is seen at the garage where the company was founded on Google's 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California September 26, 2013.

Leading Members

The Thread Group comprises of Samsung Electronics, ARM Holdings, Freescale Semiconductor Ltd and Silicon Labs. Lock maker Yale is also a member of the group. The group is empowered to certify Thread-compatible products.

Networking Protocol

According to Chris Boross, heading the new group, Google Nest's products are already using a version of Thread. As a networking protocol, Thread, will be having own security and power saving features making connectivity among household devices seamless. Thread hopes to give a better service than Wifi or Bluetooth.

The radio chips used for Thread-compatible smart devices are already in use at many existing home products like Philips Hue smart bulbs. Companies including Silicon Labs, Freescale, NXP and Atmel Corp are making chips that could be used in Thread-compatible products.

Nonprofit Group

This nonprofit Group named Thread plans to focus on devices at home, adds Cnet. Already in the fray are a bunch of other groups trying to streamline and improve the idea of the Internet of Things.  The IoT is an idea of having appliances, objects, and electronic devices connected to each other and the Internet.

Alliance Galore

Samsung Electronics a member of Thread Group recently joined Intel and Dell to form a new consortium called OIC. In July, Microsoft became a member of the competing group AllSeen Alliance where Qualcomm and Sharp are members. Apple has announced plans for HomeKit as a framework for connecting household gadgets.

In June, Nest partnered with Mercedes-Benz, Whirlpool Corp and LIFX to integrate their products with its thermostats and smoke detectors.

Race for Acceptance

According to Davi A Arnott, Technology Commentator in Business Journal, Thread is now positioned as an alternative to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other networking options claiming security and energy-efficiency features. He notes that Thread is not alone in this race for acceptance among manufacturers trying to harness the Internet of Things. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Stephen Lam / )
A Google logo is seen at the garage where the company was founded on Google's 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California September 26, 2013.
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